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You have no time to wonder who you are or why you're here. All you know is that you must collect all the gold, avoid or trap the robots, and head for the escape ladder that leads to the next level. Grabbing the loot and evading your enemies isn't that simple, however, because each level is a maze of ladders and floors, and some of the gold can only be obtained through strategic digging. You can lure the robots into holes and bury them, although their replacements will soon appear. One touch by a robot, or one fatal move into a hole, and you'll have to start all over again.

Begin your underground adventure with 50 levels of strategic action at standard difficulty before moving to the 60 levels found between the expert and master modes. In puzzle mode's 20 levels, robots won't besiege you, but the gold is fiendishly difficult to recover, putting your strategic thinking skills to the test.

If you'd rather try an altogether different sort of challenge, check out gold rush mode, in which you race through 5,000 or 10,000 yards of floors and ladders, grabbing as much gold as you can and avoiding robots along the way to your final destination. Just don't fall behind or drop off the bottom of the screen. There's also an endless option, if you don't want a finish line.

This latest incarnation of Lode Runner builds on a long history stretching back to 1983 and its initial release on the Apple II, as well as other home computers of that era. It has attracted legions of fans along the way, including Tetris creator Alexei Pajitnov, who has said of it: "I consider it a real puzzle game. That was my favorite for many, many years. It's such a good combination of dynamic stuff, the finger-work, and real planning and puzzle-solving ... I can't imagine any other game with such inventive and unusual design."

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